11.26.2007

Book Review: The Declaration

The Declaration by Gemma Malley

Reviews by Marissa, Arwa, and Gretchen

SUMMARY: It's the year 2140 and Longevity drugs have all but eradicated old age. A never-aging society can't sustain population growth, which means Anna should never have been born. Nor should any of the children she lives with at Grange Hall. Children like Anna--Surpluses--are brought up to believe they must atone for their very existence. Then one day a boy named Peter appears, bringing with him news of the world outside, a place where people are starting to say that Longevity is bad. Peter begs Anna to escape with him, but Anna's not sure whom to trust: the strange new boy whose version of life sounds like a dangerous fairy tale, or the familiar walls of Grange Hall and the head mistress who has controlled her every waking thought? (from the back of the book)

MARISSA SAYS: This book was very exciting and hard to put down. When I first started reading it, I thought living forever wouldn’t be that bad, but by the end I was fully convinced that I would join the rebellion. I could not live in a world without kids and I would most likely run out of things to enjoy after living over 100. This book would make a great book discussion book due to the conflict and excitement it contains.

ARWA SAYS: This work reminded me a lot about Shakespeare and his work with man's fickleness--how changable humans. It also reminded me of how only a few select people can be leaders while the read of mankind is in the "followers" column. I thought parts of the story went too fast, while others were too slow. Yet, it still had a good, juicy plot. All in all, it was a very original piece of work that I hope does not happen in the near future.

GRETCHEN SAYS: I am an avid reader of dystopian future fantasy, so I was excited to read this book by a new British author. The concept is really interesting: in the future, stem-cell research has leads to Longevity drugs that keep people from aging. Because of this, there is a population problem and illegal children, called Surpluses, are rounded up and raised to be servants and workers for the Legals. As a reader, I cheered for Surplus Anna as she awakened to the reality and complexity of life and began to think for herself. However, I was disappointed with the writing style. The story is told from a third person omnipotent point of view, and the switches among characters are sometimes jarring. Many aspects of this future society were alluded to, but not fully fleshed out, and the ending seemed rushed. Nonetheless, the novel is a thought-provoking and frightening vision of the future. A sequel addressing the Underground Movement to get rid of Longevity and free the Surpluses from Grange Hall would be an excellent follow-up. I can forgive what is lacking in this book if there are others to follow!

3 comments:

Bianca said...

I LOVED this book!
it was awsome.
i dont read much but this is my favourite book its very inspiring and gives us an insite into the future about not being able to use car because of the pollution and things like thAT.
i escpecially loved the ending . it was soo suspensful.
COULDNT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!!!

Anonymous said...

this was the greatest book i've ever read, and i do read a lot of books! The Declaration was suspenseful, and touching. An exciting adventure for a boy and girl with a little romance tied into it, then all the happiness blooming in with Ben and Anna's parents. I couldnt put this book down for a second! No doubts, the best book ever.

Anonymous said...

i love this book! i read it for a book report.. best book i ever read yet... other than the twilight saga.